I have taken my grandsons to different climbing walls and have commented on how much we enjoyed them particularly Awesome Walls in Stockport.
It is therefore very much regretted that our local climbing wall Highball in Norwich was a major disappointment. This is due in the main to the attitude of staff who were over officious and unfriendly. We will not be returning and will recommend others not to go.
In reply to Blackbirdnest: That's odd as I've always found their staff great! Why not feedback to them directly? (If you have and not mentioned it in your post then apologies.) I've found them responsive to this in the past.
The first time I went I thought the same, the guy doing the pre-registration interview wanted to know about our climbing histories, typical grades, trad experience etc, and asked quite lengthy questions on bouldering etiquette and safety.
Everytime I've been back, tho, I've been really impressed. I'd rather the safety check went into too much detail that the 'can you tie a fig-8, yes, come in' that everywhere else seems to rely on.
I went there for the first time over Christmas and thought they were super friendly. They put on a great comp and clearly wanted to get feedback about how to improve the format for future comps. The guy on the desk even waived my registration fee for the day, Christmas spirit and all! Overall I thought there was a great atmosphere.
In reply to Blackbirdnest: This is one of my regular climbing venues and I'm really surprised at your comments as I, like many others, have found the staff to be friendly and welcoming. It's a welcome addition to the Norfolk climbing scene and I think they are to be commended for taking the brave decision to invest a substantial amount of money in providing top quality bouldering.
For anyone visiting Norfolk I would strongly recommend it..
My name’s Mike Surtees, I’m one of the team behind Highball. I’ve just spoken to our two duty managers, Thomas Smith and Lewie Weatherburn, and neither them, nor myself have received any negative feedback from customers regarding our staff/service since we opened, in fact we’ve had the complete opposite.
Having said that, we’re only as good as our last customer and you are clearly very unhappy with the experience you had, and for that I apologise.
Either Thomas, Lewie or myself would love to have a coffee with you to see what we can do better, we’re only a young business and we’re always looking for ways to improve. Just drop in anytime, one of the 3 of us is always at ‘the wall’.
p.s. We’ve relied heavily on word of mouth since we opened in September and in the last 3 days we’ve witnassed record numbers, starting with a fantastic second round of our Winter Bouldering League on Friday (shameless plug) so we must be doing something right - but not everything ;)
If anyone ever has any issues with Highball or has any ideas/suggestions for what more we can do, just come and have a chat with one of our crew or ask for Mike, Thomas or Lewie by name – we don’t bite, but we do like a good chat.
In reply to Blackbirdnest: I'm sorry you feel this way, I'm both shocked and surprised at this. I have always found the members of staff at Highball to be nothing but friendly and approachable, and with this in mind i'm surprised that you didn't bring this up with them at the centre while you were there so that something could be done about it, rather than air your grievances on UKC.
I would recommend that you take up Mike's offer of a coffee and a chat, (the coffee is excellent!) you will find him to be one of the nicest people (as is Tom and Lewie) and, it goes without saying, your comments will be taken seriously in order to make, what is already a brilliant centre, better.
In reply to Blackbirdnest: Just read your post and can i ask an obvious question did you stop to ask the managers or owners about your issues perhaps an e-mail.call,letter ? Or did you just decide to rubbish them on this very public forum which is pretty low and slanderous. Why don't you give your real name a picture perhaps instead of hiding behind like so many on this forum a faceless post.
I think you mean libellous, not slanderous... anyhow I'm not a lawyer but it seems to me the OP is an opinion which would mean it's neither.
Now it's debatable whether the OP is the best way to complain about a wall, but this is after all a climbing forum where knowledge and opinions about all things climbing related are discussed and disseminated.
Is it also libellous if I say that I no longer go to the Westway because of the experience I've had with some of the climbing staff there? And if you say I should complain to the wall - why? Why should I have to in the first place?
In reply to SARS: of course you should have to complain about a wall. however, as a manager of a wall i would want to know if my staff were not up to scratch for whatever reason, or if we were doing something that we thought was correct but all along turned out to be wrong. how can somewhere improve without feedback?
I guess there are the type of people who complain, and there are people like me who just can't be bothered, don't like unnecessary confrontation and basically have better things to do with their time (like posting on UKC ;) ) and vote with their wallet and stop going to a wall. After all, climbing walls are now fairly abundant and so there's always other options - in London at least.
I don't see the problem with the OP having a dig at the centre because...
A) this is UKC where everything should be taken with a pinch of salt.
B) What follows is people coming on and sticking up for the centre which cancels out the negative comment and actually shows the centre in a good light in my eyes - I'd not hesitate to climb there if I was in the area.
C) Some people don't like confrontation hence not speaking to the manager at the time, but as this thread and has demonstrated word does get back to the appropriate channels and important issues may be brought to the attention of business owners/managers.
What a daft post. You would recomend that people don't go to a wall because people were not friendly ? nothing to do with whether the wall was crap but because of something along the lines of "he looked at me in a funny way" ?
"Over officious" sounds like you didn't manage to get the safety questions right ?
> (In reply to Doghouse) Really? did you just say that?
> read the name, he doesn't need a profile, the name is enough
Really yes I did just say that
Sooooo if I register as 'Chris Bonnington' with no profile and no posting history and then complain about others having no profile that'll be OK then because I have a recognisable name? Oh, and just incase you think I care either way about this, here's a great big smiley )))))
In reply to Blackbirdnest: Agreed with the profile stuff, it's this site we're on and there's no rules about how much you need to say about yourself but to criticise others about having no profile one should be able to provide one of their own. On the subject of fame, I went to look at New Statesman once and couldn't see it, amazing.
> (In reply to SARS) i just think its sad that people cant make a complaint directly but rather complain on an open forum and quite frankly i find it sad but thats my opinion going to bed now night night
A bit off topic but I'd say most people won't complain directley if staff are being arsey, you imagine the complaint will be handled by the same people or their mates. They just go elsewhere if they have that option.
In reply to Blackbirdnest: I am very suprised at the fact that you found your session at Highballanthing other than welcoming and informative, I have only ever had very good experiences of the Centre and say this from a personal and a professional point of view! It has been a very welcome and refreshing change to have a dedicated Climbing centre in Norwich at last after 13years of making do. Highball has one of the best feeling of community that I have ever experienced at a climbing centre. I feel very strongly that you should clearly state what your issues were to Mike and the Team so that they can deal with them, rather than your ambiguos comments.
As for anyone else reading this I urge you not to be put off by one users negative comments and give HighBall a go if you are in the area, even if its just to eat the wonderful cake!
all the best